Inclusion Champions Switzerland & ABB Access

Making inclusion sustainable

Inclusion Champions Switzerland

ABB Switzerland has joined forces with Novartis, Swiss Post, Hitachi, the Center for Disability and Integration at the University of St.Gallen (CDI-HSG) and the Office for the Equality of People with Disabilities (EBGB) as part of the initiative Inclusion Champions Switzerland to foster the workplace inclusion of people with disabilities, mental health issues, and chronic health issues.

Out of this collaboration, the 3I model of inclusion has been developed: inform, involve, include. With this model, the status quo of and the vision for inclusion in organizations can be planned, evaluated and further developed. It encompasses all levels of the organization (organization, team & leadership and the individual) because only coordination across different levels with an overarching goal and coordinated programs can be successful in the long term.

Figure 1: The 3I-model of inclusion
Figure 1: The 3I-model of inclusion

Strengthening inclusion is a developmental process. In the Inform phase, awareness of D&I is built and initial efforts are made to involve and listen to previously neglected groups (e.g., people with disabilities) and to sensitize the rest of the workforce. This is the way the transition to the Involve phase is designed. Here, the affected groups are actively integrated into the organization through HR measures, team interventions and individual support. In the next step, the Include phase lays the foundation for all employees of an organization to feel a sense of belonging and to be authentic. The organization creates an individual work environment where everyone is given equal opportunities and where diverse inputs are heard, appreciated and integrated.

The progress of diversity and inclusion can be measured and evaluated using an inclusion barometer such as the St.Gallen Inclusion Index (SGII). On the one hand, the SGII encompasses four aspects of inclusion: authenticity, belongingness, synergy, and equal opportunities. On the other hand, it also captures the framework conditions of inclusion, such as leadership behavior, acessibility, and corporate culture. As a result, a holistic picture of inclusion in the organization can be painted that helps to define future goals in the area of diversity and inclusion.

Figure 2: Four aspects of inclusion
Figure 2: Four aspects of inclusion

ABB Access

As part of the initiative, ABB Switzerland has launched the ABB Access project under the leadership of the specialist unit Stay at Work. Several subprojects will be implemented between 2020 and 2022: Inclusion barometer, strengths-focused job crafting, inclusive recruitment and career development, and digitization. The focus over the next six to twelve months will be on strengths-focus job crafting and inclusive recruitment and career development.

Strengths-focused job crafting will start with a pilot action of five to ten teams. The aim of job crafting is for employees and leaders in the team to become aware of their individual and collective strengths and then use them in a targeted manner. Strengths-focused job crafting means that employees align their work tasks with their strengths. It shifts away from deficit orientation and focuses on what employees can do best. Since most jobs cannot be designed entirely freely, it is necessary to coordinate with one another in the team and to develop a division of work tasks together, in which all employees can use their strengths best to be able to successfully fulfil their work assignments. Successful strengths-focused job crafting increases motivation and commitment on the one hand and reduces stress and emotional exhaustion on the other. As a result, employees can perform better at work. The teams that have signed up for the pilot will participate in a half-day workshop in the first quarter of 2021. The workshop will be conducted by the CDI-HSG.

ABB Switzerland is looking forward to the results of the pilot project and is confident that this model will create a win-win situation for the company and individual employees.


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